Vintage Pen Market: How it All Went Down

We had our first Vintage Pen Market, and it was wonderful! I was pretty nervous the entire week leading up to this, as it’s our first time running a type of event like this coordinating with vendors and trying to get the word out and hoping people will show up, and we even had a vendor cancel last minute on us last night, but everything went as well as we could’ve hoped for! Even better, really.

I got a chance to check out what pens some customers got, I also got to chat with some long-time customer-turned-friends, especially with Caleb napping in the middle of the afternoon, and best of all,  there were people buzzing in and out and around the shop all afternoon. We had young people and older people and families and students, lots of familiar faces and a few new ones too. It started dying down towards the end of the day, which was great, because I was exhausted.

Vintage Pens Wonder Pens Toronto Canada wonderpens.ca

We got some balloons to put on the door in case we had new people coming just for the Vintage Pen Market who hadn’t been to the place before, but we had some burst balloons, I think because the shop is south facing and the sun was blazing pretty strong today.

Vendors started coming around 12:00 to start setting up their pen displays on tables, which was perfect as it meant I got first dibs on all the good deals. Jon made an effort to set a budget, but he was mostly distracted by trying to help the vendors set up, just the way I like it 😉

I had to take Caleb into the back for lunch around 12:30, and by the time I got back out, the place was humming. We had turned on the AC in the morning to try to cool the place down, but I think our little-AC-that-could really couldn’t with so many people, so we ended up just opening the doors and let the fans do most of the work.

There were lots of pens! They were mostly fountain pens, but also a few ballpoints, mechanical pencils and dip pens.

Vintage Fountain Pens Wonder Pens Toronto Canada wonderpens.ca

Vintage Fountain Pens Toronto Canada wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Blog

Wonder Pens Vintage Fountain pens Toronto Canada wonderpens.ca

Wonder Pens Vintage Pen Market Toronto Canada wonderpens.ca

Vintage Pen Market Toronto Canada Wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Blog

We also had KWZI inks from Poland, with Claudia. Your next opportunity to purchase these inks will be at the Scriptus Toronto Pen Show, so if you’re interested in these inks, you should consider looking on Fountain Pen Network for reviews on these inks – here are some swatches done by Claudia. There are some really beautiful and rich looking inks, and also some interesting iron gall inks that retain a good amount of their original colour, but I ended up with “Honey,” which is a rich, warm honey brown ink.

KWZI Inks Toronto Canada Wonder Pens

We had a raffle as well: the prize was a TWSBI ECO in black, and three A5 Tomoe River notebooks. The winner is Mel G., and we’ve sent you an e-mail! Thanks to everyone who gave generously, in total we raised $52.00 for the Red Door Family Shelter through the raffle!

But of the course, the big question of the day is what pens did we get??

Vintage Fountain Pen Market Wonder Pens wonderpens.ca Toronto Canada

Jon got a Parker Parkette Deluxe with a fine nib.

And I got a Parker Vacumatic with a fairly flexy nib! The flexing was a bit of a surprise, but otherwise it’s a fine nib. Of course, what I really can’t resist is the golden brown pearl finish! Jon says if my tastes ever change from brown pens, it’s going to be really painful (but also kind of exciting…no??) to have to start my pen collection from scratch.

Vintage Fountain Pens Toronto Canada Wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens

Next to my Mabie Todd!

Wonder Pens Vintage Fountain Pen Toronto Canada Market wonderpens.ca

Vintage Fountain Pen Toronto Canada Wonder Pens wonderpens.ca

We planned this as a one-time type event, but we’re hoping to run another Vintage Pen Market in the winter – early 2016 maybe February? – as we had such great turn out for this one.

Unfortunately, we aren’t able to sell any of these vintage pens online! Other than looking online, your next opportunity to browse vintage pens in person will be on November 1st, at this year’s Scriptus Toronto Pen Show. Last year’s show was packed (Toronto is full of writing enthusiasts!) and this show promises to be even bigger.

We’re hoping to run more and more events like this Vintage Pen Market here in our new space. Remember we have our monthly Letter Writing Club which takes place on the second Sunday of the month from 2-4, so it’s a great time to come out and put those new/old fountain pens to work!

We’re so excited and encouraged by how many people are becoming interested in writing by hand and analogue tools, and we’re so glad to be part of this writing and fountain pen community. I’ve heard a few times now that fountain pens are experiencing a resurgence, and more and more people are searching for the tools to write by hand, and I hope this is true.

The longer we stay in business, though, even these two tiny baby years, the more I realize that selling pens is kind of secondary to the big picture in life, which is mostly about family and the people you talk to and connect with in this giant world. It’s pretty great that our job gives us this chance to be able to connect with people in this community, to see so many familiar faces walk through the door, and to offer an opportunity for people to meet like this. And I’m hoping we stay in this business for a few more years to come 🙂

Vintage Fountain Pens Toronto Canada wonderpens.ca Wonder Pens Blog

16 thoughts on “Vintage Pen Market: How it All Went Down

  1. Sean

    Looks like it was a lovely day and a wonderful event. I see some Parker pens in those pics I would love to add to my collection. Next time perhaps. Keep up the good work guys.

    Reply
  2. Robert Maguire

    I enjoyed the event. It was a great day to slowly browse the pens, pencils and inks on display….I picked up two Parkers with broadish nibs, a bottle of green ink, pen quiver, field notes books, a midori passport insert, and a Visconti Ragtime limited edition pen….which I immediately inked and was using to write letters on Sunday night with.

    Thank you for the hospitality and it was wonderful to meet you in person and to visit the new store for the first time.

    I do hope many successful years ahead for you as retailers and as pen friends in a generous and happy fountain pen community!

    Reply
    1. Liz Post author

      Thanks so much for coming! I’m glad you had a chance to browse and take a look at the new/old pens, and especially glad you managed to pick up a few for yourself 🙂 Thanks as well for your good wishes, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a few more years ahead 🙂

      Reply
  3. markbee

    My only regret is that I only had a half-hour to spend there. It was so much fun! And, I managed to pick up my first vintage pen – a Parker Vacumatic. Thanks again for organizing such a neat event. I can hardly wait for the Pen Show in November and another pen market at Wonder Pens in the winter.

    Vintage Pen Rabbit Hole Status: Open.

    (But I’m still excited for that Brass Sport, Jon!)

    Reply
    1. Liz Post author

      I’m glad you made it to pick up a pen! I also got a Vacumatic! You’ll have to bring yours next time you come to the shop so we can compare 🙂 And, you’ll have to convince Erin she needs a vintage pen at the Scriptus show 😉
      I’m not sure where the Brass Sports are….they were due to come “some weeks ago” but I think there is just some production delay in Germany….I’m sure Jon will let you know when it’s in, since he’s pretty excited too, haha 🙂

      Reply
  4. bureaumishka

    Very nice!!! What is that bright olive green colour of KWZI ink directly under the man’s watch? I need it! :)))))) It’s on the third card from right, ink is in the middle 🙂

    Reply
  5. Andrew Timar

    It was great fun. Keeping it at home, I bought a ’30s Eclipse pen & pencil set (probably made in Toronto) from Jeffry. Thanks for hosting Wonder Pens & let’s do it again!

    Reply
    1. Liz Post author

      Wow, that’s great that you got a made-in-Toronto pen! How perfect. Jon also got a pen from Jeffry 🙂 We’re hoping to run another one again soon!

      Reply
  6. Anwar

    Great event!! I was able to pick-up a Sheaffer Connisseur, a lovely pen as well as two bottles of the KWZ ink.
    Thanks for hosting this event.

    Reply
  7. Lisa

    Hi Liz and Jon,

    Bobby showed me the pens he got from the show at work. He was super happy. I showed him my J. Herbin 1670 ink :). I came and read this post and emailed him, saying “I think I see your Parker. I think you made the blog.” Sure enough he said that was him holding his pens and he’s also in the background of one of the other pics. He said he had a blast. We are both looking forward to Scriptus!

    Thanks for organizing this event! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Liz Post author

      I’m so glad Bobby is enjoying his pens! And I hope you are enjoying the ink 🙂 I am also really looking forward to Scriptus! Thanks for stopping by, and for the cards!! They are so cute, and I’ve already put one to good use. I hope you’ll come to the Letter Writing Club in September, and maybe you can bring Bobby!! 🙂

      Reply
  8. Pingback: Sunday Notes and Links | Fountain Pen Quest

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